A ‘hidden chapter’ of Bible text written more than 1,500 years ago could provide key insights into how the religious text has changed over time, experts say, the Daily Mail reports.
The new text comprises parts of Matthew 11-12 in the New Testament written in the ancient Syriac language, giving more details than today’s standard Gospel text.
Scientists uncovered the scripture after applying UV light to a manuscript about ancient Christian stories and hymns housed at the Vatican Library.
The text had been scraped from the parchment, a common practice so new text could be written over it, but the text left traces detectable by UV light.
Speaking to MailOnline, Dr Garrick Allen, a senior lecturer in New Testament studies at the University of Glasgow, said the discovery provides an insight into the early translations of the Bible.
‘This discovery is highly interesting, but it isn’t ground-breaking in isolation, mostly because the newly identified text is only fragmentary parts of Matthew 11-12,’ Dr Allen said.
“The Syriac translation of the Bible is important on its own as one of the earliest translations from Greek. It gives us insight into the earliest stages of the text of the Bible and the communities that produced these translations,” he added.